How long do mice live?
Smart, fast, flexible and extremely agile; so is the mouse. This rodent is part of the murine family and the genus Mus. Despite being the favorite prey of countless reptiles, mammals and birds, and having an average life expectancy of 2 years, the extremely high reproductive capacity and effectiveness of mice allows them to hold second place in terms of mammalian species with greater number of individuals refers, being surpassed only by the human.
For thousands of years, mice have remained close to man, although not because the latter wishes to do so, but because the mouse needs to establish a commensal relationship with man in order to survive.
This particular characteristic of the mouse, together with its incredible population density, has earned it inclusion in the list of 100 of the most harmful invasive alien species in the world of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
How long do mice in the wild?
In the wild, the life expectancy of a mouse can reach 2 years, although it will vary depending on the subspecies of house mouse (Mus musculus). It should be noted that it is difficult for a mouse to reach two years of life in the wild, since the latter is the favorite target of many predators and hunters, including man and even the mouse itself.
How long do mice in captivity?
Under conditions of captivity, the life expectancy of a mouse can reach 3 years. However, this will depend on the care and attention given by its breeder, as well as the breeding intentions of the same.
Where do mice live?
Being the second mammal with the largest number of individuals on the planet, the mouse can be found in almost any corner of the planet, with the exception of Antarctica and ecosystems with very low temperatures.
In rural conditions, the mouse will have a predilection for forests; while, in cities, the mouse will take refuge in sewers, garbage dumps and damp places. Mice will generally establish their burrow near a human settlement.
What do mice eat?
As omnivores, mice have the ability to feed on plants, roots, leaves, fruits, vegetables, and grains, as well as on meat, carrion, and insects. This ability to feed on virtually anything is enhanced by the mouse's incredible sense of smell, which helps it quickly locate its food.
Interesting facts about mice
They are very territorial
They may appear harmless, fragile, and even cuddly, yet most species of mice are highly territorial. Generally speaking, mice are grouped into small groups where a dominant male leads the rest of the herd, which is made up of both females and younger males.
The adjective dominant is not an exaggeration, leading males are to be feared. In fact, only dominant males have the right to mate with females. This rule can only be broken if a young male defeats the dominant male in a deathmatch, assuming the latter's position and becoming the new leader of the pack.
His agility knows no limits
Mice are incredibly agile, they can navigate almost any obstacle, from a tiny hole, a high wall to even a small lake or pond. Once they reach adulthood, mice learn to swim and dive (yes, you read that right, mice can dive) almost instinctively.
They are innate survivors
In addition to the large number of natural predators that the mouse has, the latter must face the most cunning of all hunting animals: the human, a recurring hunter who will not hesitate to eliminate it if the commensalism of the mice begins to bother him or if, simply, they are unsightly or unsanitary to you.
Despite the enormous biological disadvantage that the mouse has compared to its natural predators and humans, this small rodent is the second most populous mammal in the world. Without a doubt, this feat makes him a natural survivor.
They have a voracious appetite and a very extensive diet
Mice are omnivores, which means they can feed on just about anything (plants, roots, leaves, fruits, vegetables, grains, insects, meat, carrion, and even flour and processed foods). This incredible ability of mice is enhanced by their voracious appetite, which seems to have no limits.
His talent for defecating is also incredible
Mice are amazing animals, possessing a wide variety of innate talents and abilities. One of these is its amazing ability to defecate while walking, running, jumping or eating, which allows it to deposit an average of 36,000 stools per year.
Male mice are romantic
To attract the attention of females, a male mouse will use his ability to sing. This high-pitched sound from the mouse captures the attention of females and attracts them. In this way, the male mouse ensures successful copulation.
They reproduce extremely fast
Of all the aforementioned abilities, the most outstanding is undoubtedly the ability of mice to reproduce. These small rodents reach sexual maturity at six to seven weeks of age. After getting pregnant, the female will remain gestating the young for between 19 and 21 days, although it may happen that the gestation extends up to 28 days.
Finally, when gestation concludes, the female will give birth between 8 and 12 pups, although these can be much more (the current record is held by a female mouse that had a litter of 32 pups in 1961).
The most surprising of all is that females can have 48 deliveries in a single year, that is, they can give life to more than 350 mice in that period.